china's ruling hand has produced the world's fastest growing economy, averaging 10% gdp growth during this span. first, the basics. area, 3,705,400 square miles, slightly smaller than the u.s. with its 3,794,100 square miles. population, 1.3 billion. most populated nation in the world. four times more populous than the u.s.'s 307 million. military, china's buildup has been so dramatic that the pentagon now sees china as a challenge to america's military presence in asia. china, economy. total gdp, china 8 trillion, u.s. 14.34 trillion. labor force, china 800 million. u.s. 154 million.